As a result of the sun, new harvests of English apples boast remarkable colour.
Expect to find Early Windsor, russet, Gala, Cox and Spartan (clockwise from top left in picture below), with Braeburn due mid month and Comice pears a tasty alternative.
The first clems have arrived from Spain – a sure sign of autumn - modeled here by Jo from European Salads.
At time of writing, Turkish black figs are still available but will fade out this month. Same applies for English strawberries now the cold is settling in.
Spanish peaches and nectarines are typically eating poorly, so approach with caution.
The gorgeous French prickly chestnuts below are another classic autumnal flavour. (Fresh walnuts are also available).
“There will be Italian shortly and Chinese will eventually flood in,” explains Jim Hounsell at The French Garden.
Jim also showed off the fabulous Turk’s Turban squash below: “That’s how vegetables should be – warts and all.”
In fact, you will find a huge range of squashes, from Acorn to enormous pumpkins.
You may even spot the odd box of English asparagus, grown by the Chinn’s.
All the more hardy British veg is in good fettle but courgettes and Runners are all but gone.
British bassicas include Brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, Cavolo Nero and purple sprouting. Sweetcorn is still about but on the ebb.
Piccolo parsnips are a cute option – sweet and stunning on the plate.
English salads will continue until around the last week of October.
Expect the imminent arrival of those wonderful, bitter Italian winter crops such as Puntarelle, cicoria, Tardivo, winter raddichio and Cime di Rapa.
Wild mushrooms include trompette, Pied de Mouton and grey chanterelle,
For something fruity and unusual, search out pineberries or kiwi berries.
More familiar soft fruit include homegrown blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Spanish pomegranates are looking good, while Sicilian prickly pears offer a gorgeous rainbow of colours.
Other Continental specialties include sand carrots (pictured below), cardoon, Muscat grape, quince, melanzane and Jerusalem, Petit Violet and Globe artichokes.
See you next month, no doubt, and as ever feel free to drop me a line.